Couple celebrates 80th anniversary

Ida and Wilfred Kenzle have hit celebrity couple status. After all, how many people get to celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary.

Ida and Wilfred Kenzle have hit celebrity couple status.

After all, how many people get to celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary.

Last year, Wilfred, 101, and Ida, 99, of Red Deer, moved out of their condo and into a couple’s suite at the continuing care facility Villa Marie.

The couple met in 1931 in Central Alberta and have 7 children, 14 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

They celebrated their milestone with about fifty family members on Saturday and another celebration was held at Villa Marie on Sunday.

Wilfred said it all started with a no-frills ceremony before a Presbyterian minister in Sylvan Lake on Feb. 7, 1935.

“We had what you call a quick wedding. We couldn’t afford nothing else,” Wilfred said.

Ida, who has lost most of her hearing, said they’ve done well putting up with each other.

“I used to be able to hear too much. I think everyone knows how that goes,” she said with a laugh.

They settled on a mixed grain farm outside of Sylvan Lake to raise a family.

“He was the man and did a lot of the heavy work, and I just had the babies,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes.

Their youngest daughter Diana Goodman, 69, of Red Deer, said when her parents got married the price of new car was $625 and a loaf of bread cost eight cents.

“I remember when we got electricity on the farm. That bare light bulb was pretty exciting to us,” said Goodman whose oldest sibling is 79.

The family eventually moved to Sylvan Lake.

Goodman said her mother’s family moved to the Sylvan Lake area when Ida was only three.

“Their farm was right by the railroad. In those days, you didn’t have much to do as a child so she’d race out and wave to the train. They would slow down every once and a while and throw her a bag of candy.”

Wilfred, who went on to build houses, said remembered a Central Alberta with mostly dirt roads.

And Ida said the traffic was horse and buggy.

Letters of congratulations for the couple have come from Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many others.

In her research, Goodman said she couldn’t find many 80th wedding anniversaries in Canada.

“Everyone says wow. It’s just natural to us. They just keep trucking along.

“They don’t have a lot of health issues. Their doctor stops in for a visit, but doesn’t stop for medical reasons.”


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